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How To Protect Yourself and Your Family From Coronavirus: Hands, Health and Household

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

The coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, is behaving differently than any other virus that our doctors have previously observed. The extent of the harm from this virus remains undisclosed by the Chinese government. This virus either originated in China's biomedical laboratory located in Wuhan, or, the novel virus is a bastard of nature. Much remains unconfirmed. What is certain is that we need to do our best to safeguard ourselves and our families from the contagion. 


I conducted some research and spoke with a few doctors to assemble a simple summary of best practices to avoid or mitigate infection. Here is my recommendation on how to safeguard your bodies and households.

1) Hands

Wash your hands. This is a given and has been well covered by the mainstream media. Dr. Dana Gellis of New Jersey adds that she also recommends washing your face and nostrils. 

Avoid touching public surfaces. Avoid touching doorknobs, cash, etc. 

In fact, avoid public areas altogether. "Social separation works," tweeted former FDA commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb. Consider this: COVID-19 could remain viable in the air "up to 3 hours post aerosolization," while remaining alive on plastic and other surfaces for up to three days, according to a new study. And, anyone could be a carrier without you knowing. It takes 2-14 days before the coronavirus infection manifests. The illness period is varied and can take anywhere from two to six weeks. Then, the Wuhan coronavirus lives in respiratory tracts for 37 days after symptoms subside. Put all of this together and the numbers indicate that infected individuals can be vessels for disease spread for periods upwards of two months. 

2) Health

The best way to safeguard your body against the effects of any virus is by maintaining good health. This means eating nutritious foods, taking daily vitamins, and exercising. 

The particular nature of the Wuhan virus is that it appears to act more potently in those who are older, sicker, and suffer from inflammation, as the virus exacerbates inflammation. Anti-inflammatory diets and supplements might be the key. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and medical studies correlate the DHA and EPA found in fish oil with the reduction of inflammation and other health benefits. If you don't like fish, find a trustworthy U.S. manufacturer of fish oil supplements. 


Diets and supplements approved for people living with arthritis appear appropriate for safeguarding yourself from the worst effects of the Wuhan virus. Chinese doctors have begun prescribing the anti-inflammatory drug Roche to coronavirus patients, a Swiss drug that was originally approved for arthritis inflammation. 

As for whether Tamiflu should be taken as a precaution, the answer has been a consistent "no" from doctors. According to Dr. Ashish Shanbhag of Virginia, this coronavirus is not the same as Flu strains, for which Tamiflu has been designed. Dr. Gellis agrees and explains that medical research is currently being conducted on an HIV-preventative drug to determine if it can help prevent coronavirus infection. 

3) Household

To keep your home from becoming a coronavirus petri dish, take off your shoes before stepping into the house. Scientists have explained on multiple occasions that shoes drag bacteria into the home and should be removed. On average, a shoe harbors "hundreds of thousands of bacteria per square inch," according to Jonathan Sexton, an environmental microbiologist and research specialist at the University of Arizona. 

Doctors Gellis and Shanbhag also suggest that the clothing worn in public places should be removed in a garage or other separate area before you enter your home, to avoid bringing coronavirus into your family rooms.  

And, you can always add a home germicidal air purifier to keep your home air bacteria-free. 

Most importantly, continue to keep yourself calm and informed. 


Most people who do contract the Wuhan virus will recover, even if your floors are dirty. On average, the sickness lasts for about two weeks, while those with more severe ailments may take three to six weeks to get better, according to the World Health Organization.  

New information about the Wuhan coronavirus is being released hourly. Israeli scientists claim to have developed a vaccine, and it is now ready for testing. But the vaccine won't be available for a few months. You should continue reading the latest reports from all over the world and keep yourself informed. 

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